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going on between the assad regime and rebels, all this talk in the past 48 hours about possible chemical weapons being used. this is very close to where the president is going to be. and then if you go beyond this, and you move over here to iran, look, here is israel over here, here is syria, here is iraq. here is iran over here. iran is about the size of alaska. you may notice at this point, it is all out here, sort of receiptireceipt i reddish looking. they may be a year away from having a nuclear weapon. the reason this is red is this is the range of the shehadeh 3 missile from iran. it easily reaches over here to israel and that's important to bear in mind, because all this is happening in the small place. here is a simple way to describe it. if you went from tehran directly over to tel aviv, this is the distance from boston to chicago. you cross only four or five states in the united states to cover all that ground and all of these issues, wolf, are happening in this really relatively small area and as we pointed out, right in the middle, here is iraq, some of the turmoil that happe
the forum to deliver another stern warning to the assad regime in syria next door. >> we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching, we will hold you accountable. >> and he was cheered for his commitment on iran. >> america will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. >> earlier in the west bank, president obama met with the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas. only hours after a stark reminder of the region's dangers as militants in gaza fired several rockets into southern israel. in ramallah today, the president also reversed course, no longer demanding that israel freeze settlements before peace talks resume on borders and israeli security. >> and that's not to say settlements are not important, it is to say that if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved. so i don't want to put the cart before the horse. >> and "meet the press," why is our own chuck todd pushing his luck with the president? >> chuck, you're just incorrigible. >> we'll have more on that
the chemical weapons and if they did, that would suggest the assad stockpile has fallen into their hands. the regime is saying the rebels did have it, but the assad regime are the ones with the large chemical stockpile. once again no definitive proof they were used at all, but a serious development. >> one that the president had spoken about hypothetically back in august when he used the words red line. here he was in august. >> we have been very clear to the assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. >> so if the reports are true and i know you're careful not to say that we -- we don't know at this point in time. if they are, how might the international community act in response? >> reporter: it's very unlikely you would see u.s. or western military boots on the ground. what we have seen a move towards in the last few months is suggestion of arming the rebels. john kerry saying just yesterday he wouldn't say in the way if the uk and franc
of for a key bashar al-assad. .e was a sunni muslim the u.s. has opposed sanctions imposed sanctions on a rebel group in northern mali. they have banned americans from doing business with it. the group was recently pushed out of northern mali french-led troops. two italian marines accused of killing a pair of indian fishermen last year are being sent back to india to face charges. >> the two men are being sent back to india. they are accused of shooting dead two fishermen off india's southern coast in february of last year. >> italy has informed to us they will be sending back the marines to india. marines had been part of a military security team protecting this tanker. they say they fired on the fishermen thinking they were pirates. dead deaths -- the deaths demonstrations. the families of the dead have been demanding compensation and they want the marines tried in india. i would urge the indian government and the court to give us justice. marines have twice been allowed to leave india on bail. the second time, they did not come back. the italian government refused to return the pair, despite
in syria. we're all talking about the emphasis is on helping the resistance against president assad reach victory. obama keeps saying it's not matter of if but when president assad leaves. that's not really so sure. looking at the what's happening on the ground, the breakup of syria is more likely rather than a clear victory of one side winning or losing and president assad leaving the country altogether. so it's really a matter of the next step. what happens after whatever happens in syria. the threat is to the region. the countries on the borders of syria. turkey has its problems. jordan could well have its problems very soon. lebanon. so it's a very -- it's a situation that's very volatile. syria has been imploding and the fear, of course, is that it will explode. america's options -- what it needs to do is help the region formulate some kind of way of dealing with the problem inside syria. american troops on the ground very unlikely, but, of course, there are already special forces, american special forces, british special forces, and i believe french special forces inside jordan trai
. the fact that hezbollah has allied the assad regime has stockpiles of chemical weapons only heightens the urgency. we will continue to cooperate closely to guard against that danger. i've made it clear to bashar al assad and all who follow his orders, we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching. we will hold you accountable. the syrian people have the right to be freed from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill his own people than relinquish power. assad must go, so that syria's future can begin. because true stability in syria depends upon establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders, while making peace with countries beyond them. these are the things i think about when i think about israel's security. when i consider israel's security, i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed iranian government who has called for israel's destruction. it
that hezbollah's ally assad's regime has sock piled rockets, we will guard against that. i made it clear to assad and all that follow his orders, we will chemicalate the use of weapons or the transfer of those weapons. the world is watching and we will hold you accountable. [applause] the syrian people have the right to be free from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill s own people than relinquish power. assad must go so a serious future can begin. because true stability in syria depends on establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders while making peace with countries beyond them. that this is what i think about when i think about israel's security. when i think about israel's security i also think about the people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with a government that is called for iran's disruption. no wound their israel views this as a threat. this is not simply a challenge for israel but it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. [applause] a nuclear-armed iran will raise the r
constructive steps as it relates to what happens after assad leaves and we're certainly hoping for that day to be upon us. >> senator, bob casey, thank you so much. it's good to see you. >> thanks, chris. >>> we were watching -- it was a ceremonial tree planting ceremony. but in the meantime, ambassador, let me ask you a little bit more about syria. and we heard both president obama and netanyahu reference the changing region. let me ask you about your -- your thoughts on arming the rebels. should we or what might happen to get us to that point. what do you imagine these conversations over syria are going to be like? >> this creeping incrementalism that we have engaged in over syria is for all intents and purposes is not going to really change the equation on the ground. we have so marginalized ourselves with respect to the events on the ground in syria. the rule and reason that the united states could comply is more or less dissipated. most are furious at the united states for not doing enough, depending on which side you talk to and which group you can wind up talking to. and so this deba
news conference. he made news when he talked about reports that syrian presidential assad used chemical weapons. he promised to act if the reports are verified. >> when you start seeing weapons that can cause potential devastation and mass casualties, and you bet that genie out of the bottle, you are looking potentially at even more horrific scenes we already seen in syria and the international community have to act on that additional information. >> president obama and prime minister netanyahu appear to be getting along as well as they ever have. their position on iran seems to be aligning more than in the past. they agree iran is a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> i am absolutely convinced that the president is determined to prevent iran from getting illegal will nuclear weapons. >> there's not a lot of daylight between our country's assessments in terms of where iran is right now. >> the president has a lot of meetings. he will be the guest of honor at an official dinner. >> peter doocy in washington. thank you so much, peter. >> it is time for your 5@5:30. top five stor
into the possible use of chemical weapons in syria. president bashar al assad and his government accusing opposition of using them in aleppo. the opposition pointing its collective finger at the syrian government. as both sides continue to squabble, u.s. officials are trying to get proof that chemical weapons were used at all. pentagon correspondent barbara starr is following all these developments for us. she is joining us live. where are we right now on this, barbara? >> good morning, zoraida. u.s. intelligence community is conducting its own investigation as to what happened there and we have new details. as more pictures emerged of hospitalized syrians, cnn has learned u.s. intelligence agencies are in a massive around-the-clock effort to determine if these people were attacked by chemical weapons. so far, u.s. officials say there is no corroboration. >> so far, we have no evidence to substantiate the reports that chemical weapons were used. >> reporter: in a classified briefing to congress, intelligence officials said it's not clear what happened. but cnn has learned new details about how the c
is having some strategic distress over, you know, the, you know, the king of the assad regime. more relaxed about that just as more relaxed about egypt and in syria i find a much more limited sort of agenda than i would have thought going in much, instead of believing the u.s. will somehow reorder the middle east to israel's liking i find this is sober kind of a summit, what is doable and what is not doable. a lot of stuff about the new israeli government which i'm happy to discuss in the q&a. this gives you a bit of a sense how you see things. thank you all very much. >> thank you, dave. very good. turn to mike singh. >> thanks a lot, rob. good to be doing this and it's, good to be on this panel with my colleagues. one of the great strengths about the washington institute and one of the things which makes it so nice to work here is to have colleagues like david and dennis and ambassador jeffrey who are here and great source of wisdom on this topic. i should also start by apologizing to our viewers who have hd screens who had to watch me eat lunch at the beginning. one of the downsides of t
the assad regime a warning. >> we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was the nature of the incident, what can we document, what can we prove. so i have instructed my teams to work closely with all other countries in the region and international organizations and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed. once we establish the facts, i have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer. >> reporter: so, chris, the big takeaway of this trip if it ended today is this, the united states and israel are more on the same diplomatic page than ever before on iran. when iran would get nuclear weapons and what the response would be if there's proof that they're pursuing them. two, we're a long ways away from even getting middle east peace negotiations in the talking phase, but there's optimism that at least there may be an attempt to have everybody agree, okay, no preconditions and everybody will sit down. and then of course you heard that syria threat. later today, chris, maybe the most important speech that the obama administr
on president obama's mind. mr. obama says he is skeptical of the claims by the assad regime the rebels are using chemical weapons. he said that would be a game changer and cross a line for the united states. with more on this here's abc's alex marquardt. >> reporter: chaos in the hospital, men, women, children on respirators as family members wailed. in this brutal war this appears to have been a first. a rocket suspected of carrying a chemical slammed into a neighborhood in aleppo held by the syrian army. 25 were killed. over 100 wounded. >> translator: i felt my chest close. i couldn't breathe or speak. this little girl cried. i lost my mother. father and brother. >> reporter: the syrian regime accused the rebels of launching the rocket and called for an international investigation. the rebels blame the regime. israel said there is no doubt chemical weapons were used. but president obama wasn't so quick to agree. >> we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. >> reporter: it does not appear the chemical in question was one of those most feared in president bashar al-as
weapons and also warning the assad regime that it would be a major incident, that if the assad regime were to use chemicals, it would be taking military steps against it. but there is no evident yet, according to u.s. officials here today, that that actually happened on tuesday. that incident, it could have been some form of noxious gas that was used for crowd control by the regime. but the president said in a joint news conference with prime minister netanyahu yesterday that there's absolutely no evidence and he completely rejects the regime's contentions that it was the opposition that used those chemicals. >> i am deeply skeptical of any claim that, in fact, it was the opposition that used chemical weapons. the broader point is that once we establish the facts, i have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game changer. >> reporter: the u.n. is investigating the incident. and congressional sources say that the intelligence committees have been briefed and that the administration has full authority to get militarily involved if chemical weapons, if there's any proof of chemical
, the chairman of the house intelligence committee insisted bashar al assad's forces have used chemical weapons. >> there's a body of evidence, a body of reporting that leads me to believe, as of yesterday, that the syrians have in fact, throughout this conflict, that in a small number of times, used some quantity of chemical weapons. >> one more finding by the u.s. intelligence community, senior administration officials tell our jessica yellin in israel that the united states is deeply skeptical of those regime claims that the rebels launched a chemical attack. they say there is no evidence to date that rebel forces have their hands on any chemical arsenal. wolf, brianna? >> barbara starr live at the pentagon. >>> congress managed to avoid the threat of a government shutdown next week. the house gave final approval to a bill to fund agencies through the end of september. they sent the bill to the president for his signature. the measure also softens the impact of those forced budget cuts, especially at the pentagon. the senate, by the way, passed the measure yesterday. >>> north korea threaten
, a major issue obama said it's a game changer if assad uses chemical weapons and the u.s. has to be very careful they have accurate information on that. the pressure they have militarily if they do. >> people are still dying every day. chemical weapons or no. >> that's what we get into the debate, what kind of munitions were used. we treat chemical weapons that are used and people in syria who are killed probably might not see such a difference. if we should intervene no matter what. >> we'll continue this trip on "starting point." >>> ready for blackberry. long awaited launch. >> have you noted that the winter weather is sticking around a long time? punxsutawney phil could be in serious trouble for the early spring prediction. a lawyer is suing the groundhog. a lawyer. who passed the bar. on "starting point." back in a moment. nnouncer ] a classic macaroni & cheese from stouffer's starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. to book t
of saudi arabia have been clamped down because it doesn't serve u.s. interest. >> what assad has done in syria is way worse than what's happening. >> no. let's not equalize them. but it's to make clear that the u.s. doesn't necessarily step in. >> it makes strategic calculations about what its interests are. but in the case of syria the worrying thing about the situation in syria, the first wave of this, particularly tunisia which was entirely nonviolent, the egyptian revolt which was nonviolent although skirmishes and different forms of violence, to the syrian movement which began as nonviolent and faced such massive brutal horrific massacres has armed themselves and has become a long bloody civil war that has profound regional consequences and fear of spilling out and hezbollah looms large. >> wish we had more historical depth how we look at this. this is the third arab state to be devastated by a civil war. without pointing fingers of blame, lebanon for 15 years was devastated by civil war. foreign armies, foreign intelligence services. after the u.s. invasion in 2003 iraq went thr
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